Fancy's eye: Poetic vision and the Romantic air balloon.
AFTER A SUCCESSFUL AIR BALLOON LAUNCH IN LIVERPOOL IN JULY OF 1785, Vincent Lunardi, the first man in England to achieve human flight, received an anonymous dedicatory poem from a female fan. As one might imagine Lunardi got quite a bit of fan mail, some of which took the form of verse. In a gesture of self-promotion, the balloonist included the poem titled Ode; Addresst to Vincent Lunardi, Esq. On his Ascension into the Atmosphere as an appendix to his aerial account. In her ode the nameless bard summons "fancy" to praise the aeronaut:
Swift airy FANCY, swift pursue; Behold the GOD-LIKE HERO soar To distant Realms of boundless View, And Regions unexplor'd before! Unerring Truth shall boldly dare to paint Prospects, where Fancy's colors prove too faint ... My spirit rose along with you! I saw the grand, the glorious View! For, soaring high, the freer Mind May mount upon the fleetest Wind; May visit Regions yet unknown; And, darting from Zone to Zone, Leave Matters Dross and Earthly Cares Behind. (1)
Tracing the balloonist's ascent, the poet establishes a curious continuity between "fancy" and "truth" as she endeavors to share his expansive prospect. Fancy is both visual and mobile here, but also works according to the powers of sympathy. "My spirit rose along with you!" remarks the enraptured fan as she intercepts Lunardi's view while he glides over Liverpool. From this ecstatic place above the clouds, the poet makes a claim to direct experience when all she has access to is fantasy. Indeed, it is the medium of fancy that allows her to picture the aerial vista.
This poem, and the role fancy plays in it, is representative of the flurry of balloon writings published in England during the Romantic period following Lunardi's historic ascent over London in 1784. In the busy public discourse about the air balloon, fancy frequently intervenes to relay vision between the balloonist and his public. Not only did aeronauts like Lunardi and Jean-Pierre Blanchard share their aerial journeys with adoring fans in detailed narratives, the English public also produced scores of poems, travelogues, and drawings that imagined their way into the atmosphere. The strong presence of fancy in this popular culture begs analysis because it is at this very moment that poets and philosophers begin coding the faculty as "wandering." While fancy had in some ways always "wandered" as an indulgence in reverie, a study of it in context over the course of the eighteenth century reveals that it increasingly exhibits geographic mobility tied to forms like the prospect poem. Julie Ellison has been especially attentive to fancy's itinerant tendencies in late eighteenth century poetry, locating its mobility in a gendered discourse of sensibility that works on a global scale. For Ellison, fancy "represents subjectivity that is at once ungrounded--liberated from or deprived of territory--and mobile, committed to ambitious itineraries through international space and historical time." (2) What we find in the poetics of fancy, then, is a desire to experience worlds beyond one's own through networks of intersubjectivity. (3) As Lunardi's fan reveals, fancy functions as a technology of dynamic centrifugal vision in addition to a window into psychological territories. In the age of the air balloon, fancy realized its mobile potential and expanded its visual powers by fusing itself to the aerial machine.
Balloon writings often invite fancy to "paint" or "pencil" the view of the balloonist for an audience with no material perception of what his eye beholds. These artistic cues traditionally underscore the falseness of fancy's representations. Indeed, fancy is at once the recorder and collector of mental images and the source of delusion. In Leviathan Thomas Hobbes describes the nature of sense impressions in terms of fancy. (4) For Hobbes objects press upon the senses to create "fancies," which must be distinguished from objects themselves. Fancies are thus shadows of the perceptible world generated by "motions" in the sensorium. Hobbes's conception of fancy is pervasive in eighteenth century poetry. In her sonnet "To Fancy," Charlotte Turner Smith calls it the "false medium" of childhood:
Thee, Queen of Shadows!--shall I still invoke, Still love the scenes thy sportive pencil drew, When on my eyes, the early radiance broke Which shew'd the beauteous rather than the true!... Thro' thy false medium then, no longer view'd, My fancied pain and fancied pleasure fly... (5)
When read alongside the literature of aeronautics, Smith's sonnet betrays a persistent tension between thinking about fancy as a fictionalizing medium and as a sensory organ of dynamic geographic vision. This essay investigates the shifting nature of fancy as a consequence of its entanglement in public discourse about the air balloon, which I suggest helped consolidate fancy's most signature qualities as a distinct Romantic faculty and aesthetic.
Provocatively, the influence I point to is not one-directional. Balloon literature at once reveals that fancy takes on aspects of the aerial machine and that the balloon's scientific and popular reception contributed to its classification as a technology of fancy. At stake here is the profound impact that technological advances made on Romantic aesthetic concepts, and vice-versa. Indeed, Romanticism's enduring technophobia has recently been challenged by scholars like John Tresch, who reconsiders Romanticera machines as "extensions of the human senses and intentionality, and as fluid mediators between mind and world." (6) And, while Elaine Freedgood has linked the air balloon to the sublime, the peculiar psychodynamics of fancy displayed in balloon writings have remained unexplored. (7) This essay thus adds to a body of criticism invested in the influence of modern technologies of vision--the camera obscura, daguerreotypes, panoramas, etc.--on the arts. As Jonathan Crary has argued, these optical technologies mark "regimes of vision" springing from "points of intersection where philosophical, scientific, and aesthetic discourses overlap with mechanical techniques, institutional requirements, and socioeconomic forces." (8) During the Romantic period, aesthetic categories like the sublime developed alongside the discourse of travel writing in which tourists rehearsed aesthetic language by describing their destinations. Aesthetics thus became popularized by hordes of subjects in motion. The invention of the air balloon in the 1780s introduced a mode of travel and vision only previously imagined by poets. The application of existing aesthetic language to narratives of aerial flight presented a new "regime of vision" because flight had already formed part of the rhetoric and phenomenology of aesthetics itself. Consider the feeling of "transport" described in theoretical accounts of the experience of the sublime, or the "roving" movements of fancy. The rise of aeronautics marks a shift from the mere virtual experience of aesthetic "flight" to the possibility of an actual sensory experience of a transported subjectivity, one played out on the aesthetic field of fancy.
It would be incorrect to say, however, that fancy ceased to function as a medium of virtual experience. Rather, it became a way to approximate sense experience between balloonist and spectator on the ground, and, in this sense, the balloon enhanced the reality-effect of fancy's virtual powers, while retaining its playful creativity. We might thus classify the air balloon among a series of optical technologies that Peter Otto has recently branded Romantic "imagination machines." (9) Otto perceives the articulation of Romantic theories of imagination alongside the rise of visual technologies that generated virtual realities, such as the panorama. What these machines revealed was the constructedness of human sense experience. A distinct theory of fancy emerged in this context as philosophers and poets moved away from a model of Enlightenment psychology in which the mind merely records sense impressions to one in which perception is creative, organic, and in constant flux. (10) For Coleridge, fancy is a "mode of memory emancipated from time and space," a faculty that intuitively reassembles the mind's storehouse of images, as in moments of recollection or reverie.(11) Romantic fancy helped reconstruct an image of what was once in the mind's eye, or reorganized the image into something new out of the sensory materials it collected according to the current of the human passions. That balloon literature makes such great use of fancy is no surprise because fancy had always been poised between the real and the virtual, sense and representation. As a technology of vision and of motion, the balloon not only realized a fantasy of aerial poetic vision, it also facilitated fancy's signature movement: embodied wandering. Movement makes the balloon unique among Otto's "imagination machines" because, unlike panoramas or phantasmagoria shows in which subjects remained grounded while visual projections shifted, during aerial flight the subject actually moved. Aeronauts had the unique opportunity to move their readers by description while they themselves were moved, and poets might ascend with them by invoking fancy's powers to intercept an aerial vista. Within these narratives, the language of transport as technological motion and as aesthetic experience intersects.
Cultures of Aerial Fancy
In addition to fancy's function as an agent of shared aerial vision, the diverse cultural production dedicated to ballooning offers a strong example of what Jeffrey Robinson has branded "cultures of fancy," or "representations and expressions of lower classes and popular or peripheral cultures." (12) Writers devoted to an aesthetic of fancy, a group that includes the Delia Cruscan poets, Leigh Hunt, and John Keats, were aligned with liberal social and political interests. They produced a form of social expression resonant with contemporary poetic articulations of fancy, which included emotional excess, play, femininity, sexuality, and communal politics. Such aesthetic registers accord with a revolutionary rhetoric of liberty and a connective, democratic political vision. The culture of ballooning maps onto these registers so well that an inquiry into the technology's impact on fancy seems critical. Consider Leigh Hunt's 1818 poem, "Fancy's Party," which transforms a scene of urban sociability--a cheerful gathering in the poet's apartment--into an escapist balloon ride:
And now and now I see them, The poet comes upon me, My back it springs With a sense of wings, And my laurel crown is on me; The room begins to rise with me, And all your sparkling eyes with me ... And hey, what's this? the walls, look, Are wrinkling as a skin does; And now they are bent To a silken tent, And there are chrystal windows; And look! there's a balloon above, Round and bright as the moon above. (13)
Here the air balloon realizes an old poetic trope of fancy as flight. The unified social pleasure enjoyed by this jocund company occasions a reflection on the very nature of fancy, whose objective correlative seems to be the balloon itself. For Hunt, fancy is pleasurably "active, without toil or stress; / passive, without listlessness," echoing frustrations by scientists--and delight by aeronauts--about the difficulty of directing the air balloon's unruly motion.
The air balloon is perhaps England's first real pop sensation, and its enthusiastic cultural expression earned it the title of balloonomania among contemporaries. (14) Balloon ascensions in England became fashionable entertainment, spurring a lucrative market for memorabilia and souvenirs. They were also one of the earliest and most successful publicly funded spectacles. A metaphorics of madness overlaps with one of consumerism in balloon writings, and this hybrid discourse reveals the increasing economic power of the working class at this time. An estimated 150,000 persons gathered to witness Lunardi's inaugural launch in London, a crowd of mixed class and gender whose size has no precedent. Unsurprisingly, while ascensions proved to be celebrations of a mass public and its interests, they also produced considerable anxiety about a populace that was becoming aware of its political and economic strength. More remarkable still is the fact that such a potential was realized less than a decade before the French Revolution, an event that forever marked the crowd as an unstable political force that fundamentally threatened social order. The public frenzy surrounding ascensions is perhaps best captured by the 1811 cartoon, Prime Bang up at Hackney or a Peep at the Balloon, which represents a launch on the occasion of the birthday of George, Prince of Wales, on 12 August 1811 (fig. 1). Such fears were raised during failed balloon launches, when disappointed spectators destroyed the balloon and launch site. When launches were successful, crowds expressed both elation and terror. Whatever the outcome of ascensions, the English crowd demonstrated an early potential for a unified affective response to a major historical event. (15)
The intense public fervor over the air balloon produced a body of literature that is vast, varied, and, unfortunately, understudied. In Falling Upwards, Richard Holmes has only begun to uncover the innumerable riches that make up the aeronautics archive--one that includes ballads, epistolary narratives, and ballooning manuals--in which we find an age fascinated with liberty, experiment, and spectacle. (16) More importantly, the archive reveals the power of popular culture to shape poetic and aesthetic discourse. Regardless of genre, fancy in this literature is consistently invoked to draw the reader's vision out into the world. The fictional travelogue, Adventures of an Air Balloon, for example, follows the progress of a balloon framed as an "it-narrative" related by the balloon itself. Like other it-narratives, the balloon circulates as an object that maps out networks of sociability. However, rather than generating narrative by a process of possession and exchange, the balloon achieves sociability as it transports persons. It becomes a "vehicle" for satirical narratives, and the transportation of its passengers follows a narrative movement akin to picaresque, which interpolates story with spatial progress. The text's advertisement suggestively reveals our narrator as the bastard child of Mr. Fancy: "Advertisement. Mr. Fancy, of Leadenhall Street, took it into his head to usher me into the World, in order to acquire a fortune by rapid flights, by the swift conveyance of Ladies and Gentlemen to any distance." (17) As a storyteller, the balloon indulges in "poetic license" in relating her tales, a remark that refers back to "Mr. Fancy" as a parentage that promotes her creative talents for lucrative projects. Mr. Fancy is a deadbeat dad and an opportunist prostituting his child to a world that would give her a go. If fancy is traditionally marked by "wandering, " its risque movements are thematized in this narrative about a child forced into a business in which she "transports" anyone with a story to tell and a shilling to pay.
Despite its intense pleasures the dominant attitude towards fancy is distrust. Robinson characterizes this sentiment as "fanciphobia," or uneasiness surrounding an aesthetic culture that thrives on liberty and excessive feeling. These same fears align with Tory anxieties about revolutionary sentiment and unchecked sociability. Citing Edmund Burke's condemnation of Jacobins as the "aeronauts of France," Robinson reveals that ballooning was associated with "speculative and philosophical schemes, which were often condemned as 'fanciful' in the sense that they were dangerously unrestrained and 'lunatic'..." (18) Indeed, the political anxiety surrounding the wars with France was amplified by the real military potential that air balloons introduced to modern warfare. Napoleon Bonaparte notoriously invested in a team of aeronautic engineers to promote his imperial campaign. Not only might balloons facilitate aerial surveillance, they could also be used to attack enemy camps from the sky. Such a fear was raised when the Dublin Evening Post published an allegedly intercepted correspondence in 1796 between a Frenchman, Citizen Campenas, and Napoleon, then General in Chief of the Army in Italy, outlining a plan to invade England by a fleet of aerial ships. (19) The seized letter does more than raise alarm about the air; it also unwittingly betrays the role of the post as a panopticon of wartime government. Lampooning the outlandish proposal, one anonymous poet teases Campenas's overactive fancy in A Mock Heroic Epistle. To Citizen Campenas, Hydraulic Engineer at Paris On his Proposed Invasion of Great Britain In A Fleet of Balloons (1797):
No more let children marvel with delight, On Swift's feign'd travels, or th'Arabian Night, Where Synbad's bird or Gulliver's balloon Bears them aloft 'twixt ocean and the moon: Abstruser projects from thy brain arise, To puzzle science and astound the skies ... Thou prime Projector! Give my fancy wing, To reach thy flights, and Docks aerial sing; Where, wide extended o'er th'Elysian vale The bark, self-buoyant! waits to ride the gale. (20)
As a source of invention, fancy in the poem mediates between poetic inspiration and military stratagem. The poet mockingly classes the military plan among the wildly "fanciful" tales collected in Baron Munchausen's Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia, which include visiting the moon in an aerial ship. (21) The poem thus participates in the same fantastic "projecting" that it attributes to the plan for invasion. While it mostly jests about the likelihood of an aerial assault, the real anxiety that underlies the poem is exemplary of what Mary Favret has identified as the Romantic climatology of wartime, or the sense that the air and sky might be read as structures of feeling that register the atmospheric affect of war trafficking over the English Channel. (22) During the Napoleonic Wars, the air balloon, which successfully crossed the Channel into France in 1786, agitated the public as a possible medium of communication and surveillance, as well as a transport technology that might convey the very source of fear that the Channel kept safely at bay. (23)
It is within poetry and aeronaut narratives, however, that fancy plays the most dynamic role. This has everything to do with the status of flight as an ancient poetic fantasy and the aerial zone as a symbolic site for poetic inspiration. There is a remarkable tension in this literature between thinking about the atmosphere as a fantastical space and its new status as a "discovered" region akin to the New World that Enlightenment science had finally penetrated. Many balloon writings feature Greek gods and mythical characters that people the atmosphere alongside aeronauts and their descriptions of English landscapes. These texts at once invoke a world of fantasy and dispel it, and fancy becomes an aesthetic territory marked by conflicting representational modes. One ballad, "The Aeronaut's Farewell," both engages and rejects the poetic impulse: "The blooming Paradise with which the Poet's brain may glow / Is nothing to the glorious scene that opens on me now." (24) The air balloon thus occasioned a conflict between poetic vision and the realism of the balloon prospect, and a survey of the literature reveals that fancy was appropriated for both kinds of sight.
Fancy's Flight in Theories of Mind
Fancy's unique relationship to the visual sense and association, which might be characterized as a kind of psychological drift, made it appealing to writers devoted to the air balloon and its lawless peregrinations. Turning to the philosophical discourse surrounding fancy allows us to trace its easy migration into balloon writings and to identify the balloon's impact on its later Romantic articulations. The most notorious account of fancy is Coleridge's distinction of the faculty from primary and secondary imagination in Biographia Literaria, one that demotes fancy to the imagination's handmaiden. Coleridge associates fancy with liberty, passion, association, memory, and energetic image making. (25) It is clear from Coleridge's writings--and the classification of poetic faculties in Wordsworth's Poems (1815)--that artworks might also be categorized according to this model of faculty psychology. Romantic writers were thus as invested in articulating distinct creative faculties as they were in describing the aesthetic principles they produced. Over time poems rich in fancy became tied to shifting imagery, association, passivity, effeminacy, and dispersed subjectivity, qualities that accord with the experience and culture of ballooning. While eighteenth century philosophers characterized fancy as an abstract creative impulse, Romantic poets understood it as an organ of creative perception that, like the air balloon, moves over the surfaces of things in the world itself.
We find the earliest accounts of fancy in eighteenth century theories of genius. In William Duff's Essay on Original Genius (1767), the "poetical fancy" stores "materials of composition," or images selected from the natural world, that become available during the creative process. Fancy is "lawless and extravagant," working precipitously to forge analogies out of these materials. While unruly by nature, fancy is essential to creativity and the test of genius is to manage it. (26) Judgment and taste--the active powers of imagination--provide checks on fancy, whose intuitive processes may lead to delusion. The most common descriptors for fancy include its "rambling" and "sportive" nature, terms that suggest a special mobility tied to association. Duff insists that works of genius require "an extraordinary vivacity of Fancy, which includes a certain degree of volatility, occasioning the mind to start as it were from one object to another, without allowing it time to conceive any of them distinctly...." (27) Revealingly, Duff characterizes fancy as roving within an "aerial" psychological region unchecked by judgment: "there is therefore great scope afforded for the flights of Fancy in this boundless region.... The wildest and most exuberant imagination will succeed best in excursions of this kind, 'beyond the visible diurnal sphere,' and will make the most stupendous discoveries in its aerial tour." (28) Fancy thus lends imagination its wildness when pursuing its "flights," which moves the mind beyond the limitations of nature and the senses.
James Beattie similarly describes the unruliness of fancy's movements and its illusory creative impulse in his Essays on Poetry and Music as they Affect the Mind (1776). Beattie argues that a true poet must "not only study nature, and know the reality of things; but must also possess fancy to invent additional decorations; judgment, to direct him in the choice of such as accord with verisimilitude," a position that echoes Coleridge's later sense that "FANCY is the DRAPERY" while "IMAGINATION is the SOUL." (29) Fancy may collect images from the senses, but it alters them superficially. There is a marked concern for Beattie that in poetic composition fancy must be "regulated" by good judgment in her creative adaptations. (30) Beattie expresses this concern in his description of fancy during reverie: "Even when art is not used to disunite them, human thoughts under no restraint are apt to become ridiculously wild and incongruous. When his mind unbends itself in a reverie, and, without attending to any particular object, the ideas appear and glide away according to the caprice of undirected fancy.... " (31) An undisciplined mind gives in to fancy's movements just as a balloon rides a wind current. We find similar language in Dugald Stewart's Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind (1814). For Stewart, fancy pursues unbridled "excursions" in her search for analogies. More importantly, an active fancy presupposes "an extensive observation of natural objects, a mind susceptible of strong impressions from them" so that a "stock of images" may be amassed for the creative moment. (32) Stewart also employs a rhetoric of mobility to illustrate fancy's process. Significantly, however, fancy's movements refer to both the lateral movement of association and the toggling between the world of sense and thought. Fancy is thus the eye that looks in as well as out.
Coleridge provides a dynamic example of fancy's "excursions" in a 1799 entry of his Notebooks. Traveling by coach to London, he spies a flock of starlings from the moving vehicle:
Awoke from one of my painful Coach-Sleeps, in the Coach to London.... But as the Coach went on, a Hill rose and intercepted the Sun--and the Sun in a few minutes rose over it, a compleat 2nd rising, thro' the clouds and with a different Glory. Soon after this I saw Starlings in vast flights, borne along like smoke, mist--like a body unindued with voluntary Power / --now it shaped itself into a circular area, inclined--now they formed a Square--now a Globe--now from a complete orb into an Ellipse--then oblongated into a Balloon with the Car suspended, now a concave Semicircle; still expanding, or contracting, thinning, or condensing, now glimmering, now thickening, deepening, blackening! (33)
Coleridge's observation of the starlings reads as a preliminary poetic moment as the flock shapes itself into abstract figures for the poet's contemplation. Rei Terada has recently identified such experiences as "spectra," or afterimages, hallucinations, and optical illusions that Coleridge carefully studied as a "phenomenophile." (34) Association offers up the metaphor of the balloon, an image that situates itself in the proper environment: the morning sky. The role of movement in this scene is critical. As the coach progresses down the country road, it follows the object--also in motion--and the motion of the object shapes itself into an image. Thus the image of the balloon and carriage presents itself from fancy's vast storehouse because Coleridge is himself in motion. Entering into the proper angle of vision, he intercepts the balloon image. Rhetorically speaking, it is a modern vehicle parading as a metaphorical vehicle. The passivity of balloon, "borne along like mist," corresponds with the passivity of Coleridge aboard the coach as well as the passivity of his fancy at work. This dynamic notebook entry illustrates the convergence between what Duff called fancy's "aerial tour" and the balloon's native atmosphere.
Wordsworth consolidates a Romantic theory of fancy in the Preface to his Poems of 1815, a collection that classifies poetry according to the faculties. For Wordsworth fancy is feminine, "capricious," and "playful," generating images profusely:
Fancy depends upon the rapidity and profusion with which she scatters her thoughts and images; trusting that their number, and the felicity with which they are linked together, will make amends for the want of individual value: or she prides herself upon the curious subtilty and the successful elaboration with which she can detect their lurking affinities. (35)
Wordsworthian fancy works her superficial spell over the natural world like "Queen Mab." Percy Shelley also associates fancy with Shakespeare's fairy in his political poem, Queen Mab, a work that follows an "aerial" intergalactic flight to educate the young Ianthe about the earth's political and religious history. The emphasis in Wordsworth's definition, however, is on fancy's playfulness and ephemerality. "Scattering" imagery over natural landscapes, the "Poems of Fancy" are highly descriptive and mobile. It is no surprise that so many of them are dedicated to birds (the skylark, the green linnet, the redbreast, etc.). These birds animate fancy's exuberant flights and allow Wordsworth to trace natural topographies as fancy does her work. For Frances Ferguson, the "Poems of Fancy" are "grounded in the illusion of stable 'affinities' between the human mind and nature." (36) They represent "transient paradises" that stress the "artful" modulations of fancy in contrast with the imagination's ties to the essential and the eternal. Wordsworth's account of fancy likely influenced John Ruskin's later sense, in Modem Painters, that fancy only "sees the outside, and is able to give a portrait of the outside, clear, brilliant, and full of detail," while the imagination transforms the "inner nature" of an object. (37)
John Keats gives life to philosophical descriptions of fancy in his poem, "Fancy" (1820). By inviting the reader to unleash her fancy, he mobilizes the senses to pursue nature's beauties:
Sit thee there, and send abroad, With a mind self-overaw'd, Fancy, high-commission'd:--send her! She has vassals to attend her: She will bring, in spite of frost, Beauties that the earth hath lost...
Throughout the poem Keats gives special attention to the surfaces of things. Uninterested in transforming its object, fancy races out to encounter fresh and ephemeral images. The command to send fancy "abroad" implies that it is an extension of the self that reaches out into the world while the body remains grounded. Fancy thus thrives on the simulation of sensual experience in the absence of it. There is also a clear threat that stasis or prolonged concentration poses to fancy's energy, which must always pursue a new object. Like the vulnerable bubbles pelted by raindrops, fancy must leap to another thought before the mind hones its powers of judgment: "Then let winged Fancy wander / Through the thought still spread beyond her: / Open wide the mind's cage-door, / She'll dart forth, and cloudward soar. " (38) Keats's idea of throughness figures fancy's associative play as a dynamic passage across some transparent medium and its tendency to disperse itself across many thoughts. The movement "cloudward" represents a darting out from the mind's claustrophobic vault. By closing on the image of fancy's "silken leash," the poem insists that it thrives on liberal movement. Keats's poem animates the philosophical rhetoric surrounding fancy's powers by dispatching a mobile optics that bears a provocative resemblance to the air balloon and narratives devoted to it.
Fancy and the Poetics of the Prospect
The literature of ballooning occupies a pivotal place in the trajectory of theories of fancy across the eighteenth century, leaving its mark not only on fancy's optics, but also its effeminacy, passivity, and playfulness. One of the dominant genres within the archive is the prospect poem. In the eighteenth century prospect poem, fancy always plays a vital role in animating the mobile vision necessary for dynamic sketches of nature. James Thomson's The Seasons (1730) offers an early instance of fancy's "flights." Consider this passage from Autumn: "Turn we a moment Fancy's rapid flight / To vigorous soils, and climes of fair extent; / Where, by the potent sun elated high, / The vineyard swells refulgent on the day...." (39) In Thomson's roving verse, fancy is an agent of mobile vision, painting with fine and vivid brush the landscape below just as the sun washes over a scene. The swiftness of Thomson's poetic eye relies on rapid scaling: it absorbs the vastness of a prospect as easily--and as quickly--as it focuses on fine details. (40) We might say that the prospect poem gave fancy an expansive region within which to range for poets interested in exercising their talent for natural description. Ingrid Horrocks has recently identified a shift in the genre from the roving, disembodied perspective of the gentleman in retirement that surveys the land to that of the vagrant wanderer figure. Thomson's "circling eye" is representative of the former and never embodies another human subjectivity for fear of losing sight of the universal prospect. In contrast, Oliver Goldsmith's The Traveller introduces a wanderer that invokes fancy to engage in sustained sympathetic interaction with others in the countryside. (41) Late eighteenth century prospect poems, then, rely on fancy as a medium of sociability through which a landscape might be explored.
We find the dynamic intersubjectivity fostered by fancy's flights consistently simulated in air balloon poetry. As Lunardi's impassioned poet illustrates, fancy allows the poet to inhabit the subjectivity of the balloonist who actually hovers over the landscape. In "Aerophorion," written on the occasion of James Sadler's balloon ascent over Oxford in 1784, Henry James Pye seizes Sadler's vista. Pye traces the sublime vehicle as it moves "beyond Imagination's wildest flight... through paths by mortal eye unview'd before!" Moved by Sadler's bravery, Pye fancies his perspective above the clouds:
[... He] sits enthron'd 'mid solitude and shade Which human eye-sight can never pervade, Or rides amidst the howling tempest's force Tracing the volley'd lightning to its source, Or proudly rising o'er the lagging wind Leaves all the jarring Atmosphere behind, And at his feet, while spreading clouds extend, While thunders bellow, and while storms descend, Feels on his head the enlivening sun-beams play, And drinks in skies serene the unsullied stream of day... (42)
The passage is extraordinary because Pye tracks Sadler's ascent until he disappears from the view of spectators below. Once he does, there is a marked shift in perspective that involves slipping into Sadler's point of view to experience the calm weather above the tempest. Pye's account of particular sensations--the sunbeams on Sadler's head, for instance--demonstrate how fancy sympathetically relays sense experience across distances. Here, as in other poems, fancy and sense often overlap and even augment each other. Even as the balloon introduced fancy to unchartered territory, however, it sometimes foreclosed fancy's region by limiting its powers to the realism of a balloonist's prospect. In his 1785 poem "The Progress of Balloons," American poet Phillip Freneau points to this conflict when he invokes the classical muses to frame his ecstatic praise for the machine: "But who would have thought that invention could rise / To find out a method to soar to the skies, / And pierce the bright regions, which ages assign'd / To sprits unbodi'd, and flights of the mind?" (43) In the age of the air balloon, "flights of the mind" no longer provided exclusive access to the skies.
One might say that the air balloon put poets and aeronauts in competition for a claim over the aerial zone. Indeed, no sooner does fancy ramble within the literature of ballooning than some poets begin to question the need for it altogether. In "The Flying Mortal" (1784), Mary Alcock repudiates fancy's flights in favor of the balloon's aerial prospect:
Nor more shall Fancy now, (bewitching Fair!) Erect me castles, floating in the air; Such vague and feeble structures I despise I'll kick them down as I ascend the skies; For higher far in Air Balloon I go, And leave the wond'ring multitude below. No longer, now, at distance need I try To trace each planet with perspective eye; Nor longer wish with fairies from afar, To slide me gently down, on falling star; For up and down with equal ease I steer, And view with naked eye the splendid sphere. (44)
For Alcock, the air balloon displaces poetic fancy as some more "feeble" version I.O. Striking here is Alcock's faith in the balloon as a means of traversing spaces beyond fancy's reach, as if their respective zones and functions were continuous and merely a matter of measure. The poem systematically rejects fancy's fictionalizing powers by insisting that the clarity of sight achieved in balloon flight forms a just replacement for the Romantic visions of poetry. We see this rivalry between poetry and aeronautics at play in Thomas Hood's "Ode to Mr. Graham: The Aeronaut" (1823). Hood invites fancy's powers while witnessing Charles Graham's ascent over London in 1823. The poem is unique in that it brings the roaming eye of the prospect poem, a largely rural genre, to the urban metropolis. As an epigraph to the ode, Hood offers the first line of Wordsworth's "To a Skylark"--"Up with me! Up with me into the clouds!"--a poem included in the "Poems of Fancy." The epigraph thus connects Hood's ode to Wordsworth's project of poetic classification. While Wordsworth sympathetically approaches the lark's musical flights, Hood transforms the balloon into "Fancy's car" to share Graham's view:
A few more whiffs of my segar And then, in Fancy's airy car, Have with thee for the skies:-How oft this fragrant smoke upcurl'd Hath borne me from this little world, And all that in it lies!--... Ah me! my brain begins to swim!-The world is growing rather dim; The steeples and the trees-My wife is getting very small! I cannot see my babe at all!-The Dollond, if you please!--... Oh, Graham! how the upper air Alters the standards of compare; One of our silken flags Would cover London all about-- Nay, then--let's even empty out Another brace of bags! (45)
Here fancy allows Hood to experience Graham's flight virtually by fusing itself to the balloon and facilitating sociability at a remove. The ode also engages in a mode of description popular with aeronauts: the communication of scale by analogy. Fancy thus leaves its mark in the poem by assisting Hood in forging playful analogies that help the audience picture the vista.
While poets who praise aeronauts summon fancy to approximate their prospect, balloonists stress that the vista threatens to overwhelm fancy by filling the eye with new and striking scenes, all displayed instantaneously with astonishing distinctness. Fancy thus alleviates and abstracts the shocking hyperrealism of the prospect presented to the naked eye. Thomas Baldwin, the balloonist who best engages in the conventions of prospect poetry, provides some of the richest aerial descriptions of the countryside over Chester in his Airopaidia (1786). Disappointed with what he called "the defectiveness of the descriptions of aerial scenes" by other aeronauts, Baldwin's account reads as a Romantic travelogue from the air. Just as Charlotte Smith engages in the activity of "penciling" in her sonnet on fancy, Baldwin relies on representational cues in his account: "If there had been any Thing to wish for, it was the living Pencil of ANGELICA, or some other celebrated Painter: in order to gratify the World with the bright Miniatures and Colouring of so much variegated Beauty. " (46) Realizing that the task of communicating such a sensational picture requires extraordinary artistic powers, Baldwin calls on fancy to paint the scene: "As it would be difficult, if not impossible by mere Description, to convey an adequate Idea of the different SENSATIONS experienced while in the Car; (for Pleasure is itself unspeakable;) yet the Fancy may possibly, without Censure, be a Moment indulged, in its Allusions to such familiar Subjects as approach nearest to THEM: SO as not to leave the public Mind wholly in the Dark ..." (123). Here fancy is invoked, as in Keats's poem devoted to it, to glide over natural objects and trace resemblances of them. The excessive displays of emotion 111 the narrative--hallmarks of the discourse of sensibility--are meant to connect audience with aeronaut in order to prime them for a striking account of the prospect. Before his ascension, Baldwin notes the "tender sympathetic feelings" displayed by the crowd as they watch him rise: "He had just left, for the first time, his native Earth, where he had continued for a while the central object to some thousand spectators; whose eyes, he knew, were still turned towards him ..." (44-45). The emphasis in this passage is on vision: the eyes of the balloonist form a circuit of vision with the thousands of eyes in the crowd below that enables them to share Baldwin's aerial prospect.
Baldwin's wonderfully odd title--Airopaidia--means aerial recreation, which emphasizes the activity of play in the narrative. Less concerned with scientific measurement and charting geographic progress than with poetic description, Baldwin's account aligns with the priorities of fancy. His sketches recall the "circling eye" of Thomson's Seasons in their colorful detailing of the Chester landscape:
Yet so far were the Objects from losing their Beauty, that EACH WAS BROUGHT UP in a new Manner to the Eye, and distinguished by a Strength of Colouring, a Neatness and Elegance of Boundary, above Description charming! The endless Variety of Objects, minute, distinct and separate, tho' apparently on the same Plain or Level, at once striking the Eye without a Change of its Position, astonished and enchanted. Their Beauty was unparalleled. The imagination was more than gratified; it was overwhelmed. The gay scene was a Fairy-Land, and Chester Lilliput. (140)
Baldwin's description of the urban scene as a "fairy-land," or Jonathan Swift's world of satirical miniatures, exercises fancy's power to modify forms without altering their essential nature. Consider his account of land enclosures from above: "The Lawn itself, which composed the GroundView, was full of innumerable Enclosures all most CLOSE to each other; with much Wood:--dwindling to the Pattern of an elegant Turkey-Carpet: which, according to Principles of Mahommedan Faith, tho' wrought in gay and vivid Colours, is made to exhibit NO EXACT resemblance to the works either of Art or Nature" (110). The enclosed fields resemble a Turkish carpet, a work of fine art that resists representation altogether in accordance with the religious principles of Islam. Paradoxically, then, the prospect looks like a Turkish rug, which is supposed to look like nothing in nature or art. The analogy draws the natural scene toward artifice, but the artifice he summons intentionally bears no resemblance to nature or art. We might say, then, that while the prospect realizes a purely fantastical pattern, the pattern circles back to a nature it sought to escape.
While in the air Baldwin is especially moved by the unfamiliar view of clouds, which are ideal forms for fanciful activity because their shapes are in constant flux, and, like the balloon, are passively led forth by winds. Baldwin is struck by fancy's power to form the clouds into various silhouettes; they arrange themselves into "EVERY ORGANIZED SHAPE that Fancy could suggest" (55). Like Coleridge's interception of a balloon shape in the flight of the starlings during his coach ride, Baldwin's changing line of sight and the wind's impact on the clouds together yield a series of fluctuating forms. In a dynamic scene of the pathetic fallacy in play, Baldwin projects affective states onto the clouds: they are "ponderous" or "sleepy" and shift according to the attitudes suggested by those states (56-57). The mind's reaching out for analogies to assign the clouds exposes the work of fancy, which shuttles between sense experience and the inner life of the mind. Baldwin accompanied his colorful descriptions with several drawings that depict the countryside below (fig. 2). Of Chester's River Dee, Baldwin remarks that, although its name signifies black river, the cool climate has given it "the unvaried color of red lead," which produces on his sight, a "broad red line, twining in meanders infinitely more serpentine than are expressed in maps" (107). In contrast to the blue hues of the City of Chester, Baldwin notes, "the whole had such a beautiful and rich look; not like a Model, but a colored map" (107). By stressing the two-dimensional quality of the scene, he relies on the artificial to communicate an accurate sense of the natural. Because the scene looks like a colored map, including such a map draws the reader upward to envision the scene below. Some of Baldwin's drawings rely perhaps too much on fancy to convey natural qualities, like the convex appearance of the earth's surface. As Susan Stewart has argued, when it comes to representations that adapt scale, like miniatures, they "must continually assert a principle of balance and equivalence, or the narrative will become grotesque." (47) In A View from the Balloon at its Greatest Elevation, Baldwin sketches a series of concentric circles to emphasize the balloon's extreme ascent (fig. 3). However, by framing Chester within the center-most circle, the proportion of the town in relation to the curved surface of the earth exceeds all probability. Baldwin's drawings thus illustrate fancy's ambiguous relationship to realism by exercising its transformative powers of analogy and approximation.
Fancy and the Science of Ballooning
The qualities ascribed to fancy in poetic and psychological accounts are prevalent and often problematic features in the practical science of ballooning. Coleridge considered fancy "passive" because it followed the "mechanical" movement of association, a necessary process before the imagination exerted the poetic will to manage creativity. One of the frustrations of ballooning that likely invited a rhetoric of fancy was the difficulty that engineers met with when attempting to direct the machine's motion. Aeronaut Windham Sadler lamented in 1817 that the balloon's movements are "confined to the impulse which it receives from the current of the air in which it moves and the object of the Aeronaut in seeking to reach any given point, is to find a corresponding stream of wind, and which is now only effected by ascending or descending." (48) As Elaine Freedgood has argued, the air balloon presented a challenge to masculinity because it was subject to wind currents. Directing it became the ultimate test--and failure--of manliness, one that resulted in the cultural coding of the balloon as a feminine technology. (49) This crisis of motion seems surprisingly analogous to the intuitive movement of association described in theories of fancy. Like the gendering of the balloon after an engineering conundrum, the feminization of fancy sprang from a crisis of will in the creative process, which male poets sought to manage by assigning to the imagination the active powers of judgment.
For all their novelty and modernity, balloons resisted the practical needs of a modern traveler with a destination in mind and a schedule to keep. Instead, their technological limitations allowed for mere wandering, making them ideal machines for spectacle, sport, and play. In France, the air balloon was considered a technological marvel and a symbol of national ingenuity, so much so that the government sponsored and regulated all balloon ascents. In England, however, Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, dismissed the balloon as a failed technology. England's reaction was tinged with national jealousy over the fact that the French were the first to achieve human flight. Writing to Banks from France, where he witnessed several ascensions, Benjamin Franklin bemoaned England's rejection of the balloon as a serious scientific endeavor, particularly because England's "mechanic Genius" was so strong: "When we have learnt to manage it, we may hope some time or other to find Uses for it, as Men have done for Magnetism and Electricity of which the first Experiments were mere Matten of Amusement." (50) Scientific objections to the balloon as useless recall Romantic ideas about fancy, whose products spring from a mere play with "fixities and definites." What Franklin describes as "matters of Amusement" that precede major scientific developments corresponds with the preliminary moment of creativity and play that Romantic psychologists linked to fancy.
Coleridge called fancy the "aggregative or associative" power that produces brilliant combinations from ready materials, as in the mythical figure of Pegasus. We find this activity in play in the designs that aeronauts planned for their balloons (fig. 4). They expose an engineering crisis as aeronauts struggled to identify the best method of navigating the air. Some balloons were crafted like ships as engineers approached flight as they would the sail. Others attached wings, hoping to steer using wind currents. Mimicking the movement of animal species was the most common approach, and many balloon manuals included appendices on the physics of animal locomotion. What Claire Brant has called the "epistemological crisis" that aeronauts confronted in navigating the balloon bred curious experiments in analogy that seemed to activate fancy itself. (51) William Heath's spectacular 1828 cartoon, March of Intellect, interprets and even caricatures a culture of modern transportation as a laboratory of fancy (fig. 5). The playfulness of the aeronautics archive springs from the endless possibilities introduced to modern science by a completely new encounter with the air as a traversable medium. Modern aeronautical design often engages with old poetic tropes, like Pegasus, as well as with children's toys, like the kite. In The Aeropleustic Art, or Navigation in the Air, by the Use of Kites (1827), George Pocock introduces readers to the science of the charvolant, or the kite-carriage (fig. 6). (52) While the text is absolute science fiction, it insists on the feasibility of its project through engineering schematics, sketches, and even charts calculating the speed of the kite-carriage given its design and the force of the winds. It is within the terms of fancy that the literature of aeronautics at once indulges in an impulse toward fantasy and strives for its technological realization.
Mary Alcock's poetic fantasy of viewing the "splendid sphere" with the "naked eye" in "The Flying Mortal" is finally realized by nineteenth century aerial photography. French photographer Gaspard-Felix Tournachon (Nadar) is celebrated for having taken the first aerial photographs from his balloon, "Le Geant," over Paris in 1858. In the advent of the Victorian daguerreotype, fancy's stronghold over the culture of the air balloon began to weaken. The realism promised by aerial photographs outshone fancy's organic and creative strategies of representation, which made the Romantic aeronautics archive so unique. Surprisingly, however, aerial photography presented its own challenges that fancy could easily accommodate. The long exposure time required for early daguerreotypes meant that the balloon's mobility would prove problematic. (53) Unlike primitive cameras, fancy thrived on representing objects in motion because its creative principle relied on tracing the mind's vagrant attention. It was not until Frederick Scott Archer introduced a new photographic technique that required shorter exposures (the collodion, or "wet plate process") that aerial photography became a true possibility. (54) Archer's method demanded a dark room that would also have to be mobile. This is precisely what Nadar took out a patent to do in 1858, and, despite many technical hiccups, the experiment proved a success. If Hobbes theorized "fancies" as interiorized shadows of real objects, aerial photographs would similarly require a space of mobile, enclosed darkness to limn images onto paper.
Nadar's historic photograph does not survive because the gas rushing out of the balloon damaged the plate on which the photographic image was printed, making it both weak and fragile. (55) Ironically, the very chemical reactions that made flight possible also interfered with the chemical reactions that would give us the first aerial photograph. The oldest surviving aerial photographs were taken by Americans from Samuel Archer King's balloon, the Queen of the Air, above Boston in October 1860. Writing about the exhibited photograph for The Atlantic Monthly, American poet and journalist Oliver Wendell Holmes expressed surprise at the novel image despite his own lifelong familiarity with Boston, remarking that the city "as the eagle and the wild goose see it, is a very different object from the same place as the solid citizen looks up at its eaves and chimneys...." (56) Holmes's reaction resembles that of Romantic balloonists who first saw England from above. However, while Romantic aerial accounts certainly attempted precise representation, they more often toyed with scale, color, and outline to convey an "accurate" scene to readers. Unlike aerial photographs, early balloon representations required the mediating powers of fancy, which connected the vital mind of the aeronaut to that of his audience in a way that the technology of the daguerreotype would obviate. Thus, Alcock's claim about the balloon replacing an obsolete fancy might be truer of the photograph. If poets writing about the air balloon insisted that fancy extended its powers as a visual poetic medium by fusing itself to the balloon, we might interpret Victorian aerial photography as another technology that displaced rather than integrated fancy. The realism promised by the photograph no longer required fancy's powers, which marked Romantic air balloon writings by their charmed capacity to shuttle seamlessly between the shapes of fantasy and the organic pictures of the human senses.
University of San Diego
A Mock-Heroic Epistle. To Citizen Campenas, Hydraulic Engineer at Paris On his Proposed Invasion of Great Britain In A Fleet of Balloons. Dublin: Printed by William Sleater, 28, Dame-Street, 1797.
Adventures of an Air Balloon: Wherein are delineated many distinguished Characters, male and female; particularly Dr. M--;G--;H--, Esq. London: printed for H. Hogge, 1780?
"The Aeronaut's Farewell." American Broadsides and Ephemera. 1836. 1:4972. http://docs.newsbank.com.ezproxy.princeton.edu/openurl?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_id =info:sid/iw.newsbank.com. Accessed 29 June 2017.
"Aviation Dreams in Napoleon's Day." The New York Times, 8 March 1914.
Alcock, Mary. "The Air Balloon; or a Flying Mortal." London: E. Macklew, 1784.
Bachelard, Gaston. On Poetic Imagination and Reverie. Dallas: Spring Publications, 1987.
Baldwin, Thomas. Airopaidia, or aerial recreation; containing the narrative of a balloon excursion from Chester, the eighth of September, 1785... By Thomas Baldwin. London; J. Poole, Chester; and other booksellers, 1786.
Brant, Claire. "The Progress of Knowledge in The Regions of Air? Divisions and Disciplines in Early Ballooning." Eighteenth-Century Studies 45, no.1 (2011): 71-86.
Burgess, Miranda. "Transport: Mobility, Anxiety, and the Romantic Poetics of Feeling." Studies in Romanticism 49, no. 2 (Summer, 2010): 229-60.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Biographia Literaria; or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions. Edited by James Engell and W.Jackson Bate. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.
----. Notebooks: A Selection. Edited by Seamus Perry. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Crary, Jonathan. Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992.
Duff, William. An Essay on Original Genius; and its Various Modes of Exertion in Philosophy and the Fine Arts, Particularly in Poetry. London, 1767.
Ellison, Julie. Cato's Tears and the Making of Anglo-American Emotion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Favret, Mary. War at a Distance: Romanticism and the Making of Modern Wartime. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.
Ferguson, Frances. Wordsworth: Language as Counter-Spirit. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.
Freedgood, Elaine. Victorian Writings about Risk: Imagining a Safe England in a Dangerous World. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Freneau Philip. The Poems of Philip Freneau, Written Chiefly During the Late War. Philadelphia: Printed by Francis Bailey, Market Street, 1786.
Goodman, Kevis. Georgic Modernity and British Romanticism: Poetry and the Mediation of History. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
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Holmes, Oliver Wendell. Soundings from the Atlantic. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1864.
Holmes, Richard. Falling Upwards: How We Took To the Air. New York: Pantheon Books, 2013.
Hood, Thomas. Odes and Addresses to Great People, Second Edition. London, 1825.
Horrocks, Ingrid. "'Circling eye' and 'houseless stranger': The New Eighteenth-century Wanderer (Thomson to Goldsmith)." ELH 77, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 665-87.
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Keats, John. Complete Poems: John Keats. Edited by Jack Stillinger. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982.
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Pocock, George. A Treatise on The Aeropleustic Art, or Navigation in the Air, by the Use of Kites, or Buoyant Sails; with a Description of the Charvolant, or Kite Carriage. London: Longman, Brown, and Co., Patternoster Row, 1851.
Pye, Henry James. Aerophorion: A Poem. Oxford: D. Prince and J. Cooke; and R. Dodsley, Pall-Mall, London, 1784.
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Smith, Charlotte Turner. Elegiac Sonnets, By Charlotte Smith; With Additional Sonnets and Other Poems, Fifth Edition. London: printed for T. Cadell, 1789.
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(1.) Lunardi, Mr. Lunardi's Account of His Ascension and Aerial Voyage, From the New Fort, Liverpool, On Wednesday the 20th of July, 1785 (London, 1785).
(2.) Ellison, Cato's Tears and the Making of Anglo-American Emotion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), 100.
(3.) Miranda Burgess has recently argued that the Romantic "transport" involves intersubjective mobility through sympathetic channels. See "Transport: Mobility, Anxiety, and the Romantic Poetics of Feeling" SiR 49, no. 2 (Summer, 2010).
(4.) Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. Richard Tuck (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 14.
(5.) Smith, Elegiac Sonnets, By Charlotte Smith, Fifth Edition (London: printed for T. Cadell, 1789).
(6.) Tresch, The Romantic Machine: Utopian Science and Technology After Napoleon (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014), 5.
(7.) Freedgood, Victorian Writings about Risk: Imagining a Safe England in a Dangerous World (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 74-99.
(8.) Crary, Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992), 8.
(9.) Otto, Multiplying Worlds: Romanticism, Modernity, and the Emergence of Virtual Reality (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
(10.) See Alan Richardson's discussion of this transition in The Neural Sublime: Cognitive Theories and Romantic Texts (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), 47.
(11.) S. T. Coleridge, Biographia Literaria; or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions, eds. James Engell and W.Jackson Bate (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), 305.
(12.) Robinson, Unfettering Poetry: Fancy in British Romanticism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 5.
(13.) Hunt, Foliage; or Poems Original And Translated by Leigh Hunt (London: Printed for C. and J. Oilier, Welbeck Street, 1818), xxxix.
(14.) See Paul Keen's "'Balloonomania': Science and Spectacle in 1780s England" Eighteenth-Century Studies 39, no. 4 (Summer, 2006): 507-35.
(15.) Michael Lynn, The Sublime Invention: Ballooning in Europe, 1783-1820 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2010), 71.
(16.) Holmes, Falling Upwards: How We Took To the Air (New York: Pantheon Books, 2013).
(17.) Adventures of an Air Balloon: Wherein are delineated many distinguished Characters, male and female; particularly Dr. M--;G--;H--, Esq. (London : printed for H. Hogge, 1780?), iii-iv.
(18.) Robinson, Unfettering Poetry, 54.
(19.) See excerpts from the Campenas letters published in The New York Times in the article "Aviation Dreams in Napoleon's Day," 8 March 1914.
(20.) A Mock-Heroic Epistle. To Citizen Campenas, Hydraulic Engineer at Paris On his Proposed Invasion of Great Britain In A Fleet of Balloons (Dublin: Printed by William Sleater, 28, Dame-Street, 1797).
(21.) An English translation of Baron Munchausen's Narrative was published in London in 1785.
(22.) Favret, War at a Distance: Romanticism and the Making of Modern Wartime (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), 119-44.
(23.) Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries crossed the English Channel on 7 January 1785, carrying a bundle of letters from Englishmen to friends in France. See Lynn, The Sublime Invention, 65-66.
(24.) "The Aeronaut's Farewell," in American Broadsides and Ephemera (1836), 1:4972, http://docs.newsbank.com.ezproxy.princeton.edu/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id= info:sid/iw.newsbank.com, accessed 29 June 2017.
(25.) Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, 305.
(26.) Duff, An Essay on Original Genius; and its Various Modes of Exertion in Philosophy and the Fine Arts, Particularly in Poetry (London, 1767), 68.
(27.) Duff, An Essay on Original Genius, 59.
(28.) Duff, An Essay on Original Genius, 140.
(29.) Beattie, Essays on Poetry and Music as they Affect the Human Mind (Edinburgh: Printed for William Creech, E. & C. Dilly, 1776).
(30.) Beattie, Essays on Poetry and Music, 46.
(31.) Beattie, Essays on Poetry and Music, 331.
(32.) Stewart, "Of Poetical Fancy," in Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind, vol. 1 (Boston: Wells and Lilly: Court Street, 1821), 169-71.
(33.) Coleridge, Notebooks: A Selection, ed. by Seamus Perry (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 39.
(34.) Terada, Looking Away: Phenomenology and Dissatisfaction, Kant to Adorno (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009), 35-72.
(35.) Wordsworth, Poems by William Wordsworth: Including Lyrical Ballads and the Miscellaneous Pieces of the Author... In Two Volumes (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, Paternoster-Row, 1815), xxxv.
(36.) Ferguson, Wordsworth: Language as Counter-Spirit (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977), 53-68.
(37.) Ruskin, "Of the Imagination Penetrative," in Modern Painters, vol. 2 (Sunnyside, Orpington, Kent: George Allen, 1883), 70.
(38.) Keats, "Fancy," in Complete Poems: John Keats, ed. Jack Stillinger (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982), 223.
(39.) Thomson, The Seasons... with a Life of the Author, and Index by George Kent, and Notes by Moses A. Cartland, 3rd ed. (Concord, N.H.: John F. Brown, 1841), lines 681-84.
(40.) Kevis Goodman points to the role of the microscope in mediating between the minute particulars and the vast prospects of Thomson's descriptions. See Georgic Modernity and British Romanticism: Poetry and the Mediation of History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 38-66.
(41.) Horrocks, "'Circling eye' and 'houseless stranger': The new eighteenth-century wanderer (Thomson to Goldsmith)," ELH 77, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 665-87.
(42.) Pye, Aerophorion: A Poem (Oxford: D. Prince and J. Cooke; and R. Dodsley, PallMail, London, 1784).
(43.) Freneau, The Poems of Philip Freneau, Written Chiefly During the Late War (Philadelphia: Printed by Francis Bailey, Market Street, 1786), 386.
(44.) Alcock, "The Air Balloon; or a Flying Mortal" (London: E. Macklew, 1784).
(45.) Hood, Odes and Addresses to Great People, Second Edition (London, 1825), pages 1-15.
(46.) Baldwin, Airopaidia, or aerial recreation; containing the narrative of a balloon excursion from Chester, the eighth of September, 1785... By Thomas Baldwin, Chester (London: J. Poole, & Chester, 1786), 123. Subsequent citations of this work appear in the text.
(47.) Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984), 46.
(48.) Sadler, Aerostation: A narrative of the aerial voyage, of Mr. Windham Sadler, across the Irish channel... on Tuesday, July 22d, 1817 (Tyrrel, Dublin, 1817), 19.
(49.) Freedgood, Victorian Writings About Risk, 74-99.
(50.) See Franklin's letter to Sir Joseph Banks, dated 21 November 1783 in Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons, ed. Abbot Lawrence Rotch, reprinted from Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. 17 (Worcester, MA: The Davis Press, 1907).
(51.) Brant, "The Progress of Knowledge in The Regions of Air? Divisions and Disciplines in Early Ballooning," Eighteenth-Century Studies 45, no. 1 (2011): 71-86.
(52.) Pocock, A Treatise on The Aeropleustic Art, or Navigation in the Air, by the Use of Kites, or Buoyant Sails; with a Description of the Charvolant, or Kite Carriage (London: Longman, Brown, and Co., Patternoster Row, 1851), 4.
(53.) Beaumont Newhall, Airborne Camera: The World from the Air and Outer Space (New York: Hastings House, 1960), 19-22.
(54.) Newhall, Airborne Camera, 19.
(55.) Newhall, Airborne Camera, 21.
(56.) Holmes, "Doings of the Sunbeam," in Soundings from the Atlantic (Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1864), 269.
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|Publication:||Studies in Romanticism|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2017|
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